Livongo teams up with BCBS of Kansas City; Microsoft, Nuance ink deal for new conversational AI tool; and more digital health deals

Also: Myia health partners with ACC, Washington University St. Louis, Barnes Jewish Hospital for platform pilot; Saint Barnabas Medical Center rolls out Elemeno Health's tool to frontline healthcare teams.
By Laura Lovett and Dave Muoio
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This morning chronic care management company Livongo Health inked a deal with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, expanding its partnership with the payer to offer its diabetes program to every fully covered Blue KC member. Livongo will also be available to Blue KC Administrative Services Only (ASO) clients. 

“We are very excited to expand our partnership with Blue KC to offer their fully insured population a solution that makes it easier to stay healthy,” Livongo CEO Zane Burke said in a statement. “Blue KC was an early Livongo adopter and we see this expansion as a strong vote of confidence. As we continue to deliver measurable results, we are able to expand our business both within current clients and to entirely new organizations that are eager for a different and better chronic condition management solution.”


Microsoft is teaming up with Nuance to develop a new conversational AI tool that will assist doctors with documentation and other administrative work. It will be placed in exam rooms and passively be listening to the conversation and, in return, be able to complete paperwork based on the visit. 

The companies say they will use features from Nuance’s ambient clinical intelligence tech and Microsoft’s Project EmpowerMD scribe as a foundation for the new technology. So far we know the new tech will be built on Microsoft Azure and work with EHRs. 

“Physicians got into medicine because they wanted to help and heal people, but they are spending a lot of their time today outside of the care process,” Joe Petro, Nuance EVP and CTO, said in a statement. “They’re entering in data to make sure the appropriate bill can be generated. They’re capturing insights for population health and quality measures. And although this data is all important, it’s really outside a physician’s core focus on treating that patient.


The American College of Cardiology, Washington University St. Louis and Barnes Jewish Hospital have partnered with Myia Health to pilot the company’s real-world patient data collection and analysis platform in a research study. The investigation is initially aiming to recruit and outfit 100 heart failure patients with wearables such as Oura Rings and sleep sensors, and will be publishing their results in a paper evaluating readmission and quality of life metrics.

"Working with Myia's technology for assessing patients' health status, we are seeking to determine whether such an approach can help our teams more effectively and efficiently monitor and treat patients,” Dr. Tom Maddox, director of Wishington University St. Louis’ Healthcare Innovation Lab, said in a statement.

"Our collaboration is an exemplar of how large healthcare organizations can work with startups to shape health technology and humanize the patient experience,” Simon MacGibbon, founder and CEO of Myia Health, said in a statement.


New Jersey-based Saint Barnabas Medical Center is rolling out Elemeno Health’s cloud-based platform designed for frontline healthcare teams. The product reinforces clinical best practices among professionals at the point of care, employing interactive guidelines, smart checklists and instructional videos that can be accessed on smart devices.

“Through our system, staff are empowered with practical access to Saint Barnabas Medical Centers’ institutional knowledge,” Dr. Arup Roy-Burman, CEO and cofounder of Elemeno Health, said in a statement. “We are honored to be partnering with the staff and leadership at Saint Barnabas and helping to fulfill their commitment as a high-reliability organization providing the best care for every patient.”


In the stroke care space, MaxQ AI, an AI medical diagnostic company, is teaming up with Philips to integrate its intercranial hemorrhage and stroke software into the latter’s computed tomography systems. The idea is to help providers using Philips' CT system prioritize and identify a number of brain injuries and conditions. 

“Designed for seamless integration into Philips CT systems and workflow for the caregiver, our AI-powered medical diagnostic platform — coupled with the vast global offerings from Philips — will bring critical minutes-matter decisions directly to wherever the caregiver needs them most,” Gene Saragnese, CEO of MaxQ AI, said in a statement. “Through this powerful collaboration, we will empower physicians to better identify and prioritize patients with a suspected ICH, which have the potential to save lives, improve the quality of care, and lower healthcare costs.”